My Honest Blue Apron Review
Today was Blue Apron kind of night. For those who don't know what it is – Blue Apron is a fresh meal delivery kit. You choose a recipe online, select the number of people you want to cook for and voila! The entire meal comes in the shape of step-by-step recipe and fresh ingredients. I have tried Home Chef and Hello Fresh before and wanted to compare to see which one I can use from time to time. This review is not a comparison though; it's all about my cooking experience with Blue Apron this evening for my family of four.
Since I have tried similar services before, I knew what to expect and how to get ready for cooking. I chose two meals for my shipment this time, and tonight's creation was Pesto & Tomato Quiche. Let me start from the beginning. I got this box a couple of weeks ago, but with all the Christmas and New Year's Eve madness didn't get to cooking it until now. I used a coupon that I found in my FabFitFun subscription box and saved a significant amount of money.
When the box arrived, it was nicely insulated in a thick carton box and under dry ice. Inside the box both meals' ingredients were mixed together. Everything was in separate bags, but not separated by meals. Since I ordered only 2 meals, it was not a big problem, but still an inconvenience. Today I had to go to my basement refrigerator with the recipe in hands and select ingredients from the pile one by one. I kind of expect them separated for me when I pay money for such service, you know, first world problems.
Then my first real complaint happened: the recipe called for 4 eggs, but they were packed in two huge carton packages, 2 in each. This I found ridiculous! I buy 12 eggs from a grocery store in about the same size container. First, they use so much resources and it's bad for the environment. Second, while I put one on top if another, the top one slid down and hit the floor. Yes, I had too many ingredient bags in my hands, but if it was just one package, this wouldn't have happened. Luckily, I have plenty of my own eggs, so the recipe survived. I am also pretty good about recycling, so the packages will get recycled.
After I started opening the packages, there was one more problem: the bag that had pesto sauce, honey, crushed pepper flakes, almonds, mustard sauce, and vinegar was all wet inside. It turns out the little bottle of red wine vinegar had somehow leaked all of it out through a closed cap. Thankfully it didn't seep into any other package. The paper pouch of honey was wet with vinegar and everything smelled, but no taste was spoiled. I did not have red wine vinegar at home, so this part of salad dressing went missing. Again, I did not pay money for that, but I and the meal survived.
The cooking steps were pretty clear and the entire process wasn't too complicated. I had to mix ingredients with eggs, put them in the pie crust, which had some edge parts broken and a crack, through which a bit of liquid mixture with eggs leaked onto the side, but overall most of it stayed intact.
While the quiche was cooking for 24 minutes I got the salad chopped, which included lettuce, carrots, and radish. I have to admit I was surprised how good the vegetables survived being stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
The carrots were very fresh and firm, lettuce in great crispy shape, and even little cherry tomatoes were fine. Radish got a bit wilted, but I could tell that everything else was fresh and good quality.
As I mentioned above, salad dressing lacked red wine vinegar, but I don't think that it hurt the taste by much.
One more complaint – the directions could've been a little clearer, just a little bit. For example, I have never made quiche myself, so when it said beat the eggs until smooth, I wasn't sure if hand beating was sufficient or should I use a mixer. I ended up beating them by hand for a while, but all the way until the end I wasn't sure if I beat them enough. After tasting the quiche at the end, I understood that my beating was fine.
I also missed nutritional information and calories on the recipe, but the box came with a separate insert with that information. It's just the matter of me going back downstairs and bringing it up to read, which I am too tired to do right after eating. Despite a few hiccups, my husband and I really liked the meal. Our 7 and 9 year old kids - not so much, but they are the kind that doesn't eat pizza and burgers, so go figure.
The recipe really took about 30-40 minutes, as stated on it. We didn't have any wine, but it offered to pair this meal with something zesty and tropical. It also didn't list the ingredients that I would have to provide, but there was nothing more than salt, pepper, olive oil, and two bowls.
All in all, it was nice; I can definitely get over those few frustrations with vinegar and broken eggs. However, I would probably not choose this service over Hello Fresh or Home Chef.